Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The end of Fort George as an Army base?

Scotland on Sunday has predicted the demise of the Fort as a home for the Army:

"A senior Ministry of Defence source told Scotland on Sunday that the base would close as a result of the review. Soldiers of the Black Watch, currently stationed at Fort George, will be the last troops to leave the barracks when they move to RM Condor in Arbroath, Angus, currently the home of 45 Commando." More here.

Later articles in the press have carried a statement from the MOD that no final decisions have been made yet. If it does close it'll be another blow to the standing of our Westminster MP Danny Alexander. There isn't much point in having an MP at the heart of government if he can't do anything to save the like of Fort George vanishing from the military portfolio.

Would the loss of Fort George have as much economic impact locally as the closure of Kinloss however? Perhaps a few soldiers come for the odd pint in Nairn but basically their social life is now organised around Inverness and there are no married quarters in Nairn now. The Fort just doesn't support as many civilian jobs as Kinloss does and restoration work would still continue through Historic Scotalnd. The loss of the army wouldn't stop tourists heading to the Fort and the history of the military links would remain but to this observer the Fort just wouldn't be the same without it being a functioning military base. It'll be a pity if the military goes but at the end of the day we're probably just as powerless as Danny Alexander to do anything about it.

1 comment:

Bonnie Prince said...

Would the closure of Fort George mean that Highlanders are no longer seen as a threat?!